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Letters to the Editor

Florida's apology for slavery doesn't solve anything

Florida apologizes for role in slavery | March 27, story

Apology doesn't solve anything

I was disturbed to see our state Legislature spend so much of the taxpayers' time on an apology that is more than a hundred years too late. While I agree that slavery was a horrific time in history and unspeakable hurt was placed on slaves, I don't think an apology solves anything. Those who were harmed and those who did the harm are dead.

If the Legislature wants to apologize for all the mistakes of the past, then why not apologize to women who weren't able to vote and who still receive wages far below those of their male counterparts? Why not apologize to the Indians whose land was taken from them, who were butchered, and who were forced into slavery?

I believe that the Legislature should be working on issues that affect us today and in our future. Why not spend time developing programs to educate people about discrimination and how to stop it before the next generation passes it along? It's a shame that we continue to bring up the past and keep making the same mistakes.

Colleen Dalton, St. Petersburg

A long legacy

I understand that no one here now owned slaves or was enslaved, but it's the legacy of slavery that's the problem.

Generations of white people were allowed to accumulate wealth and pass it on to the next generation, giving each successive generation a leg up. But until the civil rights era of the 1960s, each black generation was starting with nothing and ending with nothing. For 100 years after slavery, black generations were held down by local, state and federal laws, and by private business practices. Black wealth is 100 years behind what the European immigrants were allowed to accumulate.

This is the reason for affirmative action policies and state apologies.

George Best, Valrico

Florida apologizes for role in slavery

March 27, story

Watch the money

Taking a break from the important people's business, like constructing a responsible budget, the Legislature has presented us with yet another meaningless example of out-of-control political correctness: an apology for African slavery.

Following their lead, can we now reasonably expect that the Vatican, as the only remaining vestige of the Holy Roman Empire, will apologize for Rome's enslavement of thousands of Europeans?

But on second thought, dismissing this as meaningless political pandering may be a mistake. Perhaps we should follow the money. That sucking sound in the distance could be the trial lawyers revving up their money vacuums. Now that the state of Florida, along with others, has legislatively acknowledged a historical, racist wrongdoing, lawsuits for reparations can't be far behind.

Timothy S. "Mac" McDonnell, St. Petersburg

Florida apologizes for role in slavery

March 27, story

Not apologizing

The Legislature may have apologized for slavery, but I don't. My earliest family in this great country arrived in 1917 from Europe. We owned no slaves at any point in history, so I owe no one any apology nor do I owe anyone money, reparations or special political favors of any sort. If a single penny of my money goes to any type of payback scheme, I will regard it as thievery from me and will object strongly.

I marched in my youth for equality, not special favoritism based on skin color.

Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg

Florida apologizes for role in slavery

March 27, story

Get past group identity

The Florida Legislature's slavery apology is a good way to conclude a bygone era of injustice against individuals who shared a common characteristic of having dark skin. It is now time to end any form of legislation on the federal, state or local level that attempts to divide us as Americans on the basis of race, class, religion and gender.

Entitlements based on the mind-set that humans are members of groups rather than individuals are inherently racist — especially when groups categorize individuals based on the amount of melanin in their skin. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike and think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called diversity actually perpetuate racism.

Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty. In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant.

Will Pitts, board member, Republican Liberty Caucus of Florida, Jacksonville

McCain's reckless economics | March 22, editorial

Lower taxes boost economy

I find your editorial biased and laded with inaccuracies. You write that "Bush's tax cuts turned a $120-billion budget surplus into a $400-billion deficit." Doesn't the writer remember 9/11 and how it bascially shut down our economy for several days and how it took the airlines several months to bounce back? The economy has rebounded from 9/11 and has been good for five years thanks to Bush's tax cuts!

You say cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent would cost $400-billion a year. We have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and by lowering this rate American businesses will be able to compete better in the world economy and thus increase money coming into this country. You say that eliminating the alternative minimum tax would cost billions in lost revenue. This tax was never supposed to affect the number of Americans it does now and should not continue.

Economics 101 tells you that lowering taxes and giving people more of their own money causes them to go out and buy things, which increases payroll to keep up with the business, which in turn becomes more revenue to the government through increased payroll taxes and increased taxes on goods and some services provided.

Bill Gerretz, St. Petersburg

Faith debate goes to voters | March 27, story

Pay to play

Before this goes to the people to vote on, there is another issue we should include or at least discuss. If the religious providers want access to public money and support for their organizations, then let them join the rest of us and pay taxes on all aspects of their organizations! They should pay their fair share before asking for support, like every other business and property owner.

It amazes me to see these enormous churches being built. Where is the money coming from? Jesus taught in the open fields. These erected buildings are displays of human conceit and ego, not what God or Jesus wants. No exemptions should be given to the churches. They should be equal in taxation as the rest of us.

Christina Ennist, New Port Richey

Florida's apology for slavery doesn't solve anything 03/29/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:22pm]

    

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